JONESBORO — According to the American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is predicting a serious spread of flu this year and is already reporting an early spike in cases in several states. When seasonal illnesses increase, the number of healthy blood donors tends to decrease.

The Red Cross is encouraging people to give now to help ensure blood is available. As a thank-you, those who come to give through Tuesday will receive a $10 e-gift card by email to a merchant of their choice. Those who come in Wednesday-Nov. 27, will get a Red Cross beanie, while supplies last. All who come to give Nov. 28-Dec. 15 will receive a $10 gift card.